Serviceability: Managing Change in Systems Environments
serviceability of the enterprise is based upon standardization of
the environment and procedures for managing changes within each
component. The primary disciplines involved in creating organizational
management is the practice of inventorying and tracking the various
hardware and software components that exist throughout a company.
Asset management is required to ensure successful distribution,
implementation and maintenance of any deployed hardware or software
within the enterprise.
License management is the practice of tracking the various hardware
and software licenses that have been acquired by a company. Tracking
the licenses includes gathering information such as, the total number
of licenses acquired for a particular product, the number of users
that are licensed to utilize a product, and the actual expiration
dates of those licenses. License management is important to ensure
compliance with software license agreements and hardware lease agreements.
Both asset management and license management rely on the successful
implementation and administration of the following:
accounting and procurement
tracking and reporting mechanisms are required to successfully
administer a large base of systems hardware and software which
is continually being implemented, moved, upgraded or discarded.
At any given moment the following information regarding a
system should be available:
devices such as disk drives
information is useful for both maintaining systems and providing
the information necessary for resource accounting and potential
and Resource Accounting
enterprise systems management within the environment requires
consistent and robust procurement and resource accounting
methodologies. Procurement must be tied into a resource accounting
mechanism which provides information regarding the hardware
and software deployed within the enterprise.
procurement process should rely on automated workflow, with
successful acquisition of the products resulting in automatic
updates to asset and inventory tracking databases used within
procedures require individual cost centers to share the burden
of systems administration by allowing the systems administration
group to "chargeback" for services provided.
Management is the process by which controlled changes are made to
the operating environment. It is the means by which hardware or
software is added to or changed within a production environment
and includes all alterations to operating systems code, production
program products, utilities and system management tools.
compliance to existing configurations is critical to change
management. By preventing unexpected changes to deployed systems,
control of the environment is made more manageable. Controlling
the configurations requires constant monitoring of existing
configurations, centrally managed changes to the existing
configurations, and security to prevent unauthorized changes
change management to be successful, well defined procedures
are required. These procedures define required sign-offs for
affected areas, lead time for changes and the mechanism by
which changes are controlled.
Management covers the management and flow of hardware and software
problems and their resolution. This includes handling incoming user
problem calls and providing technical support to resolve those problems,
whether they are issues for internal organizations or for vendors.
An effective problem management methodology is achieved through
of a help desk
defined escalation procedures
of customer satisfaction.
assurance (QA) is key to successful problem management, since
potential problems are identified prior to production implementation.
Comprehensive test plans are the key to effective and rapid
quality assurance testing.
the event that problems do occur within the environment, a
help desk which provides centralized first level support for
the user and member community is required. The help desk must
provide timely, value added support for systems and applications
within the environment.
problem management requires escalation procedures to correct
instances where initial levels of support do not provide a
resolution. Escalation can be the result of two situations:
is not achieved through first level support
No response is obtained from the support organization
first situation should be minimized by providing the help
desk with the necessary skills and tools. The second situation
is the result of a failed process and review of the procedure
should be performed.
satisfaction is the result of both minimized service interruptions
and met expectations in the event of a problem. Minimized
interruptions are supported by deploying robust systems and
implementing automated support tools to proactively correct
any problems that do occur.
effective means of verifying customer satisfaction is through
service levels. Service levels inform the customer what to
expect in the event of a problem and place the support organization
under measurable guidelines.
JJ Kuhl 2002